Interview with Poet David Cook (A LAST LOOK BEFORE LEAVING)

Matthew Toffolo's Summary

 1) What is the theme of your poem?

A woman admitting to herself that her relationship is abusive

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

An anecdote told me which I thought was instructive and had a twist

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

35 years

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

William Shakespeare

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

A good offer coupled with enjoyment of much on YouTube

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Mostly poetry

7) What is your passion in life?

Writing complex things with clarity and economy

Performed by Allison Kampf

POEM:

Suddenly she hadn’t the heart to quarrel.
‘He’s faithless and won’t change’
and with that thought was freed.
After he had gone out, she packed
and put…

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Interview with Poet Bill Mumford (THE KEENING CURLEW)

Matthew Toffolo's Summary

1) What is the theme of your poem?

Despite the sense of desolation the poem is about hope- the curlew’s call sounds like a mourning lament but actually it is a love song to attract a mate. The poem finishes with the observation that people who are very sick in hospital will smile and feel more hopeful when they hear the chimes celebrating the birth of a baby.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

The poem is based on a real event- a hike in the local hills in The Lake District, England just before lockdown. The emerging news of Covid-19 had created a sense of foreboding and sheltering from the mountain storm seemed like a metaphor. The curlew’s song brought hope- just like the birth of an infant.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I am a relative novice- inspired by the likes of Seamus…

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Read Poem: I’M NOT JUDGING YOU, by CONSTANCE VAN NIEKERK

I passed by you again
Standing at the same corner
Your legs shining in the dark
As cars passed you by
You gazed hopefully at each passing car
Probably even praying
That you get lucky tonight
What drives you to these streets
Only you know
In these winter nights
Clad as always in your short black tights
You brave the cold
Without any rhythm
You skip to the blaring melody
From your phone
With your red lips you mimic the song
What tales are you hiding behind
That make-up on your face
Only you know
I don’t know your story
Neither have I walked in your shoes
You might find this hard to believe
But, I don’t judge you
I too have my own demons to fight
Clutching my Holy Book every Tuesday night
Just like the prodigal son
I’m just trying to find my way back
Don’t misunderstand me
I don’t condone your lifestyle
Neither am I judging you
Who am I but
Another soul wandering far from home

Read Poem: LOVE, by James Stordy

Let my lips serenade your body
and place my hands gently on your curves
Let my eyes deeply embrace yours
and let my voice whisper softly in your ear
let the fires burn intensely
and the candles illuminate you
let the night turn into day
and watch the stars disappear
until tomorrow
and i let me serenade you all again